Why the RNLI matters to all of us

It’s almost time to lace up your running shoes for the St Hugh’s Hospital Cleethorpes Family Fun Run this Sunday – a chance to support the RNLI in Cleethorpes.

The lifesaving charity is the recipient of fundraising efforts from this year’s ABP Humber Coastal Half Marathon and 5k, and as the clock ticks down to registration closing, we thought we’d shine a spotlight on the good cause.

The station’s history dates back to 1868, some 44 years on from the RNLI’s establishment, when local residents applied for a lifeboat to be stationed at Cleethorpes. The public inauguration of the 33ft SR lifeboat Manchester Unity, built at a cost of £286, took place on August 17 that year.

© RNLI & Matt McNally.

In the years between, the RNLI’s volunteer crews have served the east coast, today providing a vital and reassuring presence for people on land and sea. The active lifeboat at Cleethorpes is called James Burgess II, a D class inshore lifeboat that’s been the workhorse of the RNLI for more than 50 years.

© RNLI & Steve Austin.

And it is exciting times for the resort this year – work is ongoing to build a new station, a state-of-the-art £3 million facility due to be completed by mid-2023.

The plan was originally approved back in 2018 to provide the capability for a more powerful B Class Atlantic 85 lifeboat to join James Burgess II.

Andy Burden, Deputy Launch Authority at Cleethorpes, said: “The new building has been designed to be an asset to the resort, complementing and enhancing the central promenade and becoming a visitor attraction in its own right. We’re all local residents ourselves and are pleased that such care has been taken in the design of the station.”

It is being built on the beach in front of the current station and will have its own slipway; currently, the lifeboat has to cross a public road near a blind bend. The additional lifeboat will allow the charity to respond more quickly, in a wider range of weather conditions, to a larger variety of incidents while keeping its volunteers safer.

Changing and training facilities will also be much improved, and the RNLI shop will move on site as well, giving shop volunteers access to running water and a toilet, neither of which are available in the current shop.

Jamie King, Area Lifesaving Manager for the Humber and Lincolnshire, said: “This new station will represent a huge change, not only to the lifesaving service we provide to the local area, but also to the way our volunteers can train and operate, in a much safer and more efficient environment than is possible in the current building.”

Meanwhile, fundraising for the RNLI continues apace. Neil Pattison, from Tape2Tape, recently completed a 7km swim across the River Humber, from Spurn Point to Cleethorpes, raising more than £800.

And you can do your bit by registering for the St Hugh’s Hospital Cleethorpes Family Fun Run, but hurry – registration closes in two days’ time! For some more inspiration, watch a D Class inshore lifeboat in action here and find out more about the RNLI by visiting its website and then head here to sign up!